Assessing content performance can be overwhelming. Considering the time and effort your strategy requires, how do you know if it is making a real impact?
Measurement is not only key to tracking your content activity, but it allows you to look at the bigger picture and improve your strategy as a result. Here are seven easy ways to measure content and track performance.
It is always interesting to know how many hits you are getting in total. However, a more dynamic way to analyse volume is tracking it over time, which shows where the peaks and troughs are. By diving into these highs and lows, you can look into the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ – is this peak driven by campaign activity? Was there a negative story that caused coverage to boom? Are these trends seasonal, or to be expected?
Looking at volume over time is a great way to look back and work out the average number of hits. With this information, you can devise a strategy or benchmark to compare against going forward.
On the other hand, it might be assumed that the higher the volume, the better the results — but this is not always the case. Measuring volume is most impactful when it is combined with other metrics.
Measuring reach adds another layer to your findings: a high volume might appear great on the surface, but if very few people saw this coverage, then the output is not very impactful. Achieving coverage in high-reaching outlets – whether this is on a website, a broadcast piece or in print media – delivers your content to a wider audience. They can then push your stories and raise brand awareness.
3. Media opportunities
Finding out where your content has reached is crucial, especially if there are key outlets in which you want to be featured.
There are lots of different ways to measure your media opportunities, such as the number of outlets that featured your content, audience types or if these outlets retain a high reach. This can be something interesting to track over time or alongside individual campaigns, to determine whether your content is being published in your target visibility outlets.
Not only can you analyse the outlets themselves, but you can also consider the journalists featuring your content. You may have a list of target journalists, or want to look out for journalists to target for the future, so tracking can help you plan ahead.
While volume and high-reaching placements can be valuable, this is not always the case – who wants 500 articles casting you in a bad light, rather than 250 that look favourably on your business?
Knowing if you have been featured positively, neutrally or negatively in an article is really important when looking at the success of your content. This allows you to delve deeper into how you have been perceived by the media. While achieving positive sentiment is often most valued, negative sentiment can also be useful to see what the pain points are, allowing you the opportunity to adapt your strategy and bounce back.
You might not only look at sentiment, either – you could measure competitor sentiment to see what the industry landscape is like and how you compare.
5. Key messaging or article themes
Tracking what is being spoken about in relation to your company can be really beneficial, especially if you have specific messaging that you want to be visible. For example, volume and reach might be high, but if this is due to a syndicated article about an ex-employee, a scandal or just a passing mention, then this content is not very impactful.
Whether you use key word searches or a human-verified method of analysis, finding out which themes have been most visible helps to see if your efforts have been successful.
Alternatively, if you are at the start of your measurement journey and have not yet decided your key themes or messages, you could take a look at all of the content you have achieved and see what the most visible topics are – ultimately helping you to set KPIs and plan ahead.
6. Proactive and organic
Measuring whether your content is proactive or organic is a great way to see the success of your PR team’s efforts. Proactive coverage relates to anything promoted to the media by you – such as a press release, spokesperson interview, or a company statement. Meanwhile, organic coverage is anything else — content that has not been actively pushed by your company. Finding out the proportion of proactively and organically generated coverage each month on a rolling basis is useful to set a benchmark.
It is also helpful to measure your team’s impact, as you can see whether peaks in volume correlate with big campaigns and seasonal initiatives.
Vuelio’s bespoke Impact Score does what it says on the tin: it measures your impact. This score is tailored to your needs – we look at what is most important to you and take this into consideration to create a numerical score. Standalone, this score might seem quite advanced or intimidating, but it is a great way to benchmark and quickly see how impactful your efforts have been over the last month, quarter or year.
The Vuelio Insights team look at the metrics above like reach, sentiment, key messaging and proactive/organic coverage — we also offer more complex metrics, such as prominence, impact score, spokesperson quotes, whether the content contains an image and so much more.
Leveraging expert insights is particularly valuable when tracking against competitors too. Your impact score may be very low one month, but competitors’ could be even lower – this is all relative, and you could still come out on top.
Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Get in touch.